Some NBA fans say the season doesn’t really start until the Association’s Christmas Day marathon, but we’ve already been having great fantasy basketball for the first 10 weeks of the season. Whether your transitioning from fantasy football or you’ve been playing fantasy hoops since the opening tip, the five games lined up for Christmas have a lot to offer. If you’re supplementing your Christmas cheer with a DraftKings contest, take a look at these big-ticket plays as well as some value-friendly stocking stuffers to round out your roster.
StudStephen Curry, GS vs. LAL, $9,000 — The defending champs host LeBron, as Curry faces the new-look Lakers for the first time this season. Curry has been settling into a groove with at least five three-pointers in five of his past seven games, including each of his three most recent. He had over 40 DKFP in each of those three contests with 42 points and 57.5 DKFP in his most recent game on Sunday. Curry is heating up and always seems to rice to his best on the big stage.
Other Options — Kyrie Irving ($8,100), Damian Lillard ($7,800)
Brandon Ingram, LAL at GS, $5,300 — It hasn’t taken Ingram long to settle back into his role in the Lakers rotation, and he has played 33 and 37 minutes in his two games since returning from an ankle injury. He had 18 points and 30.75 DKFP in his first game back on Friday, followed by 20 points and 29.0 DKFP on Sunday against Memphis. He should be consistently around that level of production making him a nice bargain at just over $5K.
Other Options — Marcus Smart ($4,400), T.J. McConnell ($3,600)
StudJames Harden, HOU vs. OKC, $10,900 — Harden and the Rockets host his former team from Oklahoma City on Christmas this year, but Harden will have to carry the load since Chris Paul (hamstring) is out. Harden leads the NBA with 36.4% usage and piles up points and assists, especially with Paul out. Harden has posted double-doubles in each of the past two games, finishing with 67.5 and 66.5 DKFP. He has at least 55 DKFP in six straight contests and is averaging 70.0 DKFP pre game over that stretch. Add in some extra motivation against his former team, and Harden becomes an anchor to build around.
Other Options — Donovan Mitchell ($7,100), Khris Middleton ($6,500)
ValueJoe Ingles, UTA vs. POR, $5,700 — Slo-Mo Jo isn’t the flashiest option under the tree this Christmas, but he definitely has proven he can provide multi-category value and consistently deliver. He has over 33 DKFP in each of his past three games, including last week’s matchup with the Trail Blazers, when he had 34.25 DKFP on 15 points, seven assists, five boards and a steal. If you’re looking for a solid mid-level play in the late game, don’t pass up on the Aussie.
Other Options — Dennis Schroder ($4,900), Gerald Green ($3,900)
StudPaul George, OKC at HOU, $9,700 — George has at least 30 points, a double-double, and at least 54 DKFP in three straight games coming into his Christmas Day matchup with Houston. George had 57.25 DKFP against the Rockets earlier this season and should be able to keep rolling. He has been shooting well and getting high usage next to Russell Westbrook ($10,300), and the two have formed a one-two punch that has propelled the Thunder to near the top of the Western Conference
Other Options — LeBron James ($10,100), Kyle Kuzma ($6,400)
ValueKevin Knox, NY vs. MIL, $5,600 — Knox has stepped into a huge workload over the past seven games, and the rookie has stepped up with 20.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals and 33.1 DKFP per game over that stretch. Knox has taken at least 15 shots in each of those contests and has at least 29 DKFP in five of those seven games. He had 42.5 DKFP the first time the Knicks played the Bucks and will be a nice mid-range play with upside against Milwaukee.
Other Options — JJ Redick ($5,100), Al-Farouq Aminu ($3,900)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at NY, $10,700 — The Greek Freak is spending Christmas in the Big Apple in a nice matchup against the Knicks. He will be looking to bounce back after a rough outing Saturday, when he shot just 3-for-12 and finished with 31.75 DKFP against the Heat. He was cruising before that with at least 50 DKFP in four straight games. He also threw down against the Knicks earlier this year with 60.25 DKFP and 75.75 DKFP in two matchups. His 75.75 DKFP came in his earlier trip this season to Madison Square Garden, when he had 33 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. He definitely has the ability to repeat that kind of performance and should get at least 50 DKFP if the game stays competitive.
Other Options — Kevin Durant ($9,300), Draymond Green ($6,300)
ValueP.J. Tucker, HOU vs. OKC, $4,300 — Tucker has played very well since picking up more usage for the Rockets. He always logs heavy minutes, but has stepped up his production with over 25 DKFP in four of his past five contests. He had a season-high 16 rebounds to go with his six points and 33.5 DKFP Saturday against the Spurs in his most recent contest. If you need some salary relief, Tucker is a great option with low risk since he logs such heavy minutes.
Other Options — Noah Vonleh ($5,200), Kevon Looney ($3,500)
StudClint Capela, HOU vs. OKC, $7,400 — Capela is coming of a 20-point, 20-rebound game against the Spurs in which he hammered in 54.75 DKFP. He has over 37 DKFP in five of his past six contests and consistently produces double-doubles with good amounts of blocks. He is playing over 33 minutes a game this season after just 27.5 minutes last season and has been able to raise his averages to 17.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 39.8 DKFP.
Other Options — Joel Embiid ($9,500), Jusuf Nurkic ($6,100)
ValueIvica Zubac, LAL at GS, $4,400 — The Lakers have been without JaVale McGee ($4,700) due to pneumonia and Tyson Chandler ($3,600) due to back spasms, which has opened a huge window of opportunity for Zubac. The 21-year-old Croatian has stepped up with 38.75 and 33.0 DKFP in the past two games against the Pelicans and Grizzlies. He is risky in a matchup with the Warriors, who sometimes don’t allow opposing bigs to stay on the floor, but Zubac has huge upside if either McGee, Chandler or both are limited on Christmas Day.
Other Options — Al Horford ($5,700), Mike Muscala ($4,200)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.